The first steps to the world’s richest race for two year olds are taken this Saturday at Rosehill Gardens with the running of the $1 million Golden Gift.
Saturday’s $580,000 first prizemoney and $190,000 for second will see two runners entrenched in the order of prizemoney for the world’s richest race for two year olds at Rosehill Gardens – the iconic Longines Golden Slipper to be run on 20 March next year.
The second running of the $1 million Golden Gift is another enhanced part of the Sydney Spring program and has again been targeted by Australia’s biggest and most successful stables of two year olds.
Brilliant debut winner Captivant for Peter and Paul Snowden is the early $3.60 TAB favourite with jockey Jason Collett aboard.
The Snowdens won last year’s inaugural Golden Gift with Dame Giselle, who went on to further Group success as a two year old before this Spring winning three legs of the Darley Princess Series for three year olds.
Peter and Paul Snowden also train Mura Mura ($6.50 TAB) for jockey Sam Clipperton.
Melbourne debut winner and filly Sneaky Five ($4.80 TAB) is with the powerful Ciaron Maher and David Eustace team of youngsters and will be ridden on Saturday by Regan Bayliss.
Athelric ($8.50 TAB) for the James Cummings Godolphin team and jockey Rachel King and Ghostwriter ($8.50 TAB), raced by Aquis for trainer Annabel Neasham and jockey Nash Rawiller, are next in betting.
The most successful Longines Golden Slipper trainer in history Gai Waterhouse saddles up Cerda ($10 TAB) with training partner Adrian Bott and jockey Tim Clark.
Sydney’s 10-time premiership winning trainer Chris Waller has first starter Head Of State ($14 TAB) with Brenton Avdulla aboard while Hawkes Racing – who have won two Longines Golden Slippers in the past seven years – also have a debutant in Hunnam ($15 TAB) for jockey Tommy Berry.
Australian Turf Club Executive General Manager of Racing and Wagering James Ross said the Golden Gift was a vital pathway to qualifying for the $3.5 million Longines Golden Slipper.
“This year’s field has again been targeted by many of Australia’s major stables and brings formlines from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to the back end of Spring,’’ Mr Ross said.
The Group 2 $500,000 Hyland Race Colours Hot Danish Stakes is the day’s second feature and one of several wide open betting races across the program.
Madam Rouge is the TAB favourite at $4.80 for trainer Chris Waller and jockey Kathy O’Hara, just ahead of the Cummings/Godolphin runner Savatiano ($5 TAB) ridden by Jason Collett.
In the field of 12, seven other runners are between $7 and $16 with TAB.
Saturday’s nine-race card, off the back of Sydney’s spectacular Everest Carnival, includes a field of 16 runners for the fifth running of the $125,000 Drinkwise Country Classic over 2000m.
The Country Classic is a four year olds and up set weights race open to all NSW and ACT country trained horses and has been embraced by trainers and connections.
Trainers from Queanbeyan, Canberra, Walcha, Tamworth, Dubbo, Scone, Goulburn and Gulgong have accepted for the race.
Total Recall ($3.50 TAB) is favourite for jockey Tommy Berry and Scone trainer Paul Messara ahead of Express Courier ($5 TAB) for Queanbeyan trainer Keith Dryden and top apprentice Tommy Sherry.
The Rosehill Gardens track was rated a soft 7 on Thursday morning.
A track report recorded on Thursday morning with Rosehill Gardens Racecourse Manager Shaun Patterson is available here.
All racing, ticketing and general information for Saturday and future racedays is available at theraces.com.au